The Art and Science of Guessing

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Abstract

This research examined how one affectively reacts to others' guesses at a value one cares about, such as one's income. Conventional wisdom suggests that people will feel happier upon receiving more favorable guesses (e.g., higher income) than less favorable guesses. We found the opposite pattern. We propose a model to explain the effect and identify its boundaries and report experimental evidence for the model. This research enriches existing literature on self-enhancement and yields practical implications for how to approach guessing in interpersonal communications.

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